Beijing to adopt China's tightest fuel standards by Jan : Xinhua

Buildings are seen during a moderately polluted day in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, April 19, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing plans to roll out China’s tightest fuel standards by January 2017, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Monday citing the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau, as the smog-choked city aims to drastically cut vehicle emission.

The new rule for diesel and gasoline called “Beijing Six” standards will cut car pollutants by an additional 15 to 20 percent in the city, Xinhua reported, quoting a researcher with Beijing’s environmental protection bureau.

In addition, China’s “National Five” standard, equivalent to the Euro V specifications will be implemented nationwide in January 2017.

The “Beijing Six” standards is a major upgrade from China’s national five standards that are only used in more economically developed eastern provinces now.

The “Beijing Six” allows a maximum sulphur content of 10 parts per million (ppm), and requires a lower level of other pollutants such as Benzene and PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) compared with Euro V specifications.

Diesel burning trucks and automobile emissions have been a major contributor to Beijing’s persistent smog problem.

On May 20, the municipal government said it would retire more than 400,000 trucks and mini buses in 2016 and 2017 that burn low-quality high-sulphur fuels.

Reporting by Meng Meng and Aizhu Chen; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath